The Swiss Army knife is the ultimate multi-tool. Whether you need a magnifying glass to read fine print or a metal saw to cut through iron, the Swiss Army knife has your back. In addition to a blade, these gadgets include various implements such as screwdrivers, bottle openers, and scissors. While Victorinox and Wenger have created an array of Swiss Army knives that will meet anyone's needs, the flagship knife remains the SwissChamp.
Here's a breakdown of all 33 tools in the SwissChamp with a brief explanation because not everyone knows what a sewing eye is for!
- Large blade: The sizes of the large blade vary by model and brand but the large blade on the SwissChamp is a straight-edge blade with a spear point tip. The cutting edge is 58mm. This is a general tool used for cutting and slicing.
- Small blade: The small blade is very similar to the large blade in style and functionality, but it has an edge of about 36mm for smaller, more nuanced jobs.
- Corkscrew: The corkscrew is traditionally used to uncork wine bottles. Along with its obvious use, many people have discovered other uses for the corkscrew, including getting out knots and temporarily affixing things like mosquito nets to beams.
- Can opener: Another traditional tool, the can opener first appeared on the SAK in 1817 and has gone through numerous iterations. To use it for its intended purpose, hook the outer rim to the bottom of the opener. Then slice the cutting edge into the can. Repeat the step around the can.
- Small screwdriver: At the tip of the can opener is a small screwdriver roughly 3mm.
- Bottle Opener: Technically called a cap lifter in the Swiss Army knife manual, the bottle opener is used to open beer and other bottles.
- Screwdriver: Similar to the way a screwdriver is built into the top of the can opener, there's also one at the top of the bottle opener. This screwdriver is roughly 6mm.
- Wire-stripper: The small notch in the side of the bottle opener acts as a tool to strip wire.
- Reamer, punch: This nifty little tool is used to enlarge holes in wood or leather.
- Key ring: The key ring acts as an attachment point for the knife, so you can connect it to a lanyard or your keys.
- Tweezers: Tweezers are a small device that pinch together to make it easier to pick up something too small for hands. They're also fantastic for removing splinters.
- Toothpick: Probably the most self-explanatory tool in the bunch, the toothpick is mainly used for picking food out of your teeth.
- Scissors: One of the defining characteristics of the SAK, the scissors stay open because of a spring between the handles. It's also replaceable in case you lose it.
- Multi-purpose hook: As its name implies, the hook has multiple uses. One inventive use for the hook is to carry shopping bags with heavy items that may strangle your hands. It can hold up to 200 lbs.
- Wood saw: The wood saw is a fully serrated blade that's great for sawing material like wood.
- Fish scaler: Although the fish scaler is used by many fishermen to scale fish, it's often derided as one of the least useful tools in this model. However, there are other uses for the fish scaler, including carving pumpkins.
- Hook disgorger: The fork at the end of the scaler is a device used to safely remove a hook from the mouth of a fish.
- Ruler: Some versions of the ruler have the imperial scale on one side and the metric scale on the other.
- Nail file: One side of this tool is a nail file designed to help you keep your nails in check.
- Metal file: On the other side of the nail file, you have a metal file.
- Nail cleaner: At the tip of the file, you have the nail cleaner, which takes out all the gunk from beneath your nail.
- Metal saw: Finally, on this same tool, you have the metal saw. The tool is manufactured with a special hardening process that makes the edge capable of cutting metal.
- Fine screwdriver: This is yet another screwdriver on the knife and it's about 2.5mm.
- Wood chisel: This tool is a dedicated chisel designed to carve or cut out wood.
- Pliers: Added to the Swiss Army knife in 1985, the pliers are a pretty new addition. They work essentially the same way as the scissors and have a spring that opens the tool.
- Wire cutter: Inside the pliers are wire cutters.
- Wire crimping tool: In the middle of the handles for the pliers is a wire crimper used for making a connection between two wires.
- Phillips screwdriver: There are a number of screwdrivers on the tool, but this is the only dedicated Phillips screwdriver.
- Magnifying glass: A nifty little tool for getting out splinters, the magnifying glass has about an 8x magnification.
- Ball point pen: The pen is a pressurized ball point pen that allows you to write at any angle. Many people have found the best place to put it when writing is beneath the multi-purpose hook because the tension holds it in place. Some models have a retractable pen.
- Straight pin: A removable pin is also in this model and can be used for various tasks, including pressing small reset buttons and removing splinters.
- Mini screwdriver: Designed to be carried in the corkscrew, the mini screwdriver works on many small screws found in glass and electronics.
- Sewing eye: The sewing eye is a little hole in the reamer that's used for punching large thread through canvas. It was originally designed so that troops could make repairs to their equipment.
What are the best Swiss army knife tools on the market?
Of all the models by the sole "genuine" Swiss Army Knife company, Victorinax, the Super Tinker pocket knife is the most versatile and best suited to the everyday consumer. Among its more than a dozen tools are the standard large and small blade, tweezers, bottle opener, and scissors. Consumers report using the large blade for such tasks as carving wood and gutting fish; the small blade for cleaning fingernails and opening letters; and the scissors for cutting string.
Replacing the corkscrew from older models is a Phillips screwdriver, which can come in handy when working with electronics. Measuring a compact 3-1/2 inches long, and relatively lightweight, the Super Tinker is perfect for carrying in a purse or pocket. It comes with a lifetime warranty.
The knife features nine functions. The main tool is the large blade, which opens up with the help of a nail nick and snaps into place with a slipjoint spring. A bottle opener and can opener sit on opposite ends and boast additional uses, including a wire stripper and two screwdrivers. An almost hidden wood saw adds that extra layer of functionality for those particularly rugged tasks you might encounter in the fields. A versatile reamer/punch and keyring balance out the rest of the tool.
Unlike traditional Swiss Army Knives, the Farmer has durable Alox scales. The silver helps the red Victorinox emblem stand out. The Farmer may very well be the last personal pocket knife you ever buy because as one customer put it, "The knife lasts so long, it's almost creepy.
With 33 different tools and features, the Victorinox SwissChamp is essentially a complete toolbox that easily fits into your pocket. Since the SwissChamp entered the scene in 1985 (replacing the Champion as the top model), it's been called the flagship model of Victorinox because of the fact that it has nearly every tool while retaining a size that's easy to carry.
The 33 different tools include pretty much anything you could need to accomplish a task you'd encounter in day-to-day life. A partial list of tools include large blade, small blade, corkscrew, can opener with small screwdriver, bottle opener with large screwdriver, wire stripper, reamer, key ring, tweezers, hook, wood saw, fish scaler with ruler, nail file with metal file and saw, fine screwdriver, chisel, pliers with wire cutter and crimper, magnifying glass, pressurized ball point pen, straight pin, and sewing eye.
No other tool out there can stand up to the quintessential Swiss Army knife: the Victorinox SwissChamp. Also it comes in multiple colors, Sapphire blue, black, or classic red.